For the third year, “graduates” of China’s Longmarch Pioneers League have returned to the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling. This year’s record group of 10 players includes three traditional right handers, two lefties and five players who use the “spinner” technique with very light bowling balls, a technique that is popular in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and a few other Asian Rim nations. It’s the largest group of “spinner” technicians ever to bowl in PBA competition.
After making its debut with six bowlers in 2014 and seven last year, China continues to pursue its first “casher.” But the players who have qualified through the “Pioneers” program created by Longmarch Bowling President Frank Zhao continue to make progress and Zhao is making sure Chinese bowling fans are constantly updated by feeding them video and audio reports on social media on a daily basis. As a demonstration of the progress China is making, Zhiyong Wang averaged 224.5 in the Cheetah round to finish in 26th place – missing the cut to the match play elimination rounds by finishing two pins behind PBA legend Walter Ray Williams Jr.
In order to earn trips to the WSOB, Chinese players have to earn their PBA memberships through Zhao’s Longmarch Pioneers League, establishing minimum 200 averages, and then they had to finish among the leaders in a national qualifying event.
Once again accompanying the delegation is Guotai Shi, who is Vice Chairman of the Chinese Bowling Association.